Friday, October 29, 2010

Marina City

Known as the twin corncob skyscrapers along the river between State and Dearborn, Marina City was Chicago's response to the suburban flight that had been accelerating in the 1950's and 60's.  Architect Bertrand Goldberg had observed people abandoning the Loop after working hours and designed a plan to make downtown living more attractive.  The 65-story residential and commercial buildings were completed in 1964.  At that time a 2-bedroom apartment rented for $210 a month.  Today a 2-bedroom condo will go for $2,100 and up.  The history of Marina City can be found here at "City Within A City" by Stephen Dahlman.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Transients Welcome

Located at the edge of Old Town, I run by this hotel a few times a week.  I take comfort in knowing that at any given time there may be 200 plus transients staying nearby.  At night the lights on the sign that flicker on and off generate an eerie feeling.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

View from the North Avenue Beach Peninsula

The Skyline at Dusk

The Skyline Celebrating Breast Cancer Awareness

The North Avenue Beach Peninsula as seen from the John Hancock Center.  Some have referred to it as Chicago's Cape Cod-like hook.

Monday, October 25, 2010

View Through the Wells Street Bridge

Looking east through the Wells Street bridge.  In the center are Mather Tower, Hotel 71, Aqua, and the Carbide & Carbon Building.

Sunday, October 24, 2010


Situated at the south end of Grant Park at Roosevelt Rd, for the longest time I had no idea what these head and torso-less iron statues were called.  The Name Agora refers to the meeting places of the ancient greek city-states.  Polish sculptor  Magdalena Abakanowicz designed the 9-feet tall 1,800 pound hollow structures to exemplify her fear of crowds.  As you can see many of the pieces are congregated together while others are walking away from the group, off on their own.  Abakanowicz once described crowds as "brainless organisms acting on command."  Their placement in Grant Park allows for visitors to walk through them to make their own interpretation of each piece of artwork.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Cabrini Green

In May of this year residents of of this Cabrini Green building at 1230 N Larrabee were given their 30 day eviction notices by the Chicago Housing Authority.  31 Families have been placed into one of the 4 remaining Cabrini Green buildings until more suitable housing is found. The CHA has been given the green light to begin further development for mixed-income housing under Chicago's Plan for Transformation.  It has been referred to as the most extensive and controversial public housing redevelopment plans in the United States.
Pictured are the Cabrini Green row houses built in 1942.  In the early 20th century this corner of Cleveland St. (formerly Milton St) and Oak St. was known as "Death Corner."  The neighborhood was referred to as Little Hell and was comprised mostly of Italian immigrants.  Assassins designated this intersection as a dumping ground for their murder victims.  In 1910 between the months of January and March, 15 bodies were found here.
The last remaining Cabrini high-rise at 1230 N Burling will be scheduled for demolition in early 2011.  Last July the remaining residents received their 180 day notices to vacate the premise.  In September the building had a vacancy rate of around 80 percent.  Residents were given options to move to the row houses pictured in the first photo, the Parkside of Old Town development at 1100 N Cleveland, or various other public housing developments in the south and west sides.  To read more about Cabrini Green visit Documenting the Transformation by photographer Ryan Flynn.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Summer Scenes

Since the temperatures dipped below 40 last night, I wanted to take one last look at the Summer of 2010.  Pictured are scenes from the 2010 Air and Water Show held annually on the lakefront.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Chicago's Eyeball

On July 7, 2010 Chicago was treated to another fine piece of artwork display of gigantic proportion.  The 'Eye' sculpture sits in the Loop's Pritzker Park at State and Van Buren.  Sculptor and Chicagoan Tony Tasset modeled the 30 foot structure after his own eyeballs.  All of these people must have admired the Eye on a previous day, because no one seems to care at the moment. The Eyeball will only be on display until October 31st.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Fog Dissipation

A few days before closing our rooftop for the winter I took advantage of a foggy night.  Can you believe they actually close the rooftop?  It just takes one tequila-drinking jerk to sit on the ledge, fall 20-stories and land on the hard, cold concrete just to ruin the fun for all of us.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Only 13 Days Until Halloween!

I found this Tarantula at the corner of Erie and Wabash in River North.

'Chez Quis'

Do you remember the restaurant 'Chez Quis' in Ferris Bueller's Day Off when Ferris passed himself off as 'Abe Foreman, Sausage King of Chicago?'  The exterior shots were actually filmed at this residence at 22 W Schiller Street between State and Dearborn in the Gold Coast.


The fog gives the illusion that the top of the Hancock Center is bursting into pink flames.  Gotta love October in Chicago.

"Suspicious Suitcase"

A newsworthy night in the neighborhood, on October 7th a suspicious suitcase was found at the bus hut on the southwest corner of LaSalle and Division.  The intersection and surrounding blocks were shut down for over 4 hours.  The bomb squad used a robot to examine the suitcase.  It turned out to be free of any explosives, but ironically a Planned Parenthood sits directly across the street.


This guy didn't seem to be in much of a hurry.  He must live nearby.

Tree-Lined Street to the Concrete Jungle

I recently moved from a two-flat in Ravenswood Manor to a high-rise in the Gold Coast.  Both of these images provide the setting for each neighborhood.  Although it is not shown, my stretch of LaSalle has a tree-lined median.  I will be illustrating the contrasts between the 2 neighborhoods throughout the next several weeks.

Only 150 days until St. Patrick's Day!

The Chicago River, March 17, 2010

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Thanks RedEye

I just wanted to thank Scott Kleinberg of RedEye for the Honorable Mention I received on their weekly photo challenge.  The theme for this submission was "reflection."  This image of the Trump Tower was taken from the south end of the Chicago Riverwalk.  Not too shabby, if I do say so myself.  Click here to view the RedEye Weekly Photo Contest Archives.

Sailboat Convention

As I was walking to Union Station during the mid-morning of October 9th, a slew of sailboats made their way toward the south branch of the Chicago River.  In my 2 years in the city, I rarely get to witness the bridges rising.  Split down the middle are the bridges of Wells and Franklin Streets.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Wrigley Building

The Wrigley Building is arguably one of the most famous Chicago architectural landmarks and one of my personal favorites.  The walkway pictured here is located on the 14th floor and connects the north and south towers.

View from Montrose Harbor

A view of downtown from Montrose Harbor.  This photo was taken at sunset last spring.  The water looks extremely cold.